Pressure on already in Blues selection
Wednesday, March 1, 2017 Lynn McConnell Getty Images
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"As we have talked about, if you get opportunities it is up to you what you do with it and he's taken his with two hands. He wants to be a centre so he's put the pressure on them and us as a coaching group to select him.
"And when they're playing well we've just go to go with those who are doing what we are asking them to do," he said. "Now it's on the others to match that or be better."
Umaga said the standard had been set in Melbourne and the All Blacks would have to bring the same level of attitude when they came into the game from the bench.
"It goes without saying how intense these games are if you gain anything from last year and you look at that first game between the Chiefs and the Highlanders at the weekend, they're pretty brutal, so nothing has changed.
"Although we got a good win I think it was rusty from both sides between us and the Rebels. They exposed a few things on us so we've got to make sure we fix those going into this weekend otherwise the Chiefs' outfit are very good at exploiting holes in counter-attack, turnovers and things like that."
In 2011, @TanaUmaga scored for @ChiefsRugby against @BluesRugbyTeam?, but this Friday night he'll face his old team from the coach's box. pic.twitter.com/4eWWViRHBf— Super Rugby (@SuperRugbyNZ) March 1, 2017Settling down early in the game would be a priority as they had been a little nervy in the first game, he said.
Getting connections around counter-attack and turnovers which was the toughest time to defend and they needed to make those little adjustments for themselves.
While achieving some scrum dominance in their pre-season game, Umaga was taking nothing from that. The Chiefs would have identified problems and worked on them and they were back at home so it would be a different side they came up against.
He said Otago back and former New Zealand Under-20 player Michael Collins, who has been retained at fullback for the weekend, had been one of the last players signed for the side, and it had been as a utility option. He was another example of a player grasping his opportunity with two hands and setting the pace for other possible fullback contenders.
"He's done everything we've asked, he's brought another dimension for us from the back and his calmness and organisation and he's really fitted in up here as well. I think he's enjoying it," Umaga said.
Who's coming this Friday? It's going to be massive and we love your passionate support! YOU make the difference. https://t.co/d3opjX09pV pic.twitter.com/FnDGerAi2T— Chiefs Rugby (@ChiefsRugby) March 1, 2017
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